Sunday, June 23, 2013

Buy Any Good Books At The Library?

Could the book publishing industry be saved by the very place people normally read books for free?

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, some libraries are offering its online patrons the option to buy new print copies of titles in their catalogs.  Some 75 of the 8,951 public library systems already do this and another three dozen are preparing to do so, including three of the largest systems in the US – all serving NYC.

Some 13% of public libraries already sell e-books.

This is great news.  I always thought libraries should sell books – and other items.  They can raise funds and further the reading community.

But does this hurt bookstores?  We need to increase the number of bookstores, so this seems like the best way to do so.  Additionally, libraries act as community centers and can really pull the reading public together.  However, as libraries become more commercial, will it change the neutrality of librarians?

Books can already be purchased at bookstores, online, at airports, magazine stands, gift shops, religious stores, college stores, and big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, K-Mart, etc. 

Now books can be bought where millions have resided all along.  And whereas libraries always want you to return the books that you take from them, they now will hope their books never come back to them. 

Interview With Novelist Patricia J. Hoover

What type of books do you write? I write the kind of book that I loved reading as a kid, specifically science fiction and fantasy. I write for both the kid (3rd-8th grade) and teen (6th grade and up) market.

What is your newest book about? Solstice is a young adult novel aimed at fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. It’s a story set in Austin, Texas in the future when global warming is destroying the earth. Temperatures above 110 are the norm, and food and water are in severe shortage. Amid this dystopic world, a girl named Piper receives a mysterious present on her eighteenth birthday. When she opens it, a world of mythology explodes around her. Her best friend almost dies, Piper has to travel to the Underworld to save her, and yes, there are Greek gods.

What inspired you to write it? Growing up, I always loved the myths. I noticed that the young adult market had plenty of fairy tale retellings but not so much on the myth, so I thought it would be fun to play around with the myths in my next story. I didn’t want to do just a normal retelling of a myth, though, so I decided to take the approach of “what happens next?” and Solstice was born.

What is the writing process like for you? I generally spend some amount of time up front planning out my story, and then my main goal is to get through the first draft as quickly as possibly. Once I have that draft, it’s like a safety net and helps me push through revision after revision. I do think spending more and more time upfront can reduce the time needed for revisions, so that’s the direction I’m trying to take with future projects.

What did you do before you became an author? Unlike some of the strange collections of jobs I’ve seen from other authors, my career before writing was very straightforward. Straight out of college, I was an Electrical Engineer and designed computer chips for fifteen years. I worked on chips for cell phones, e-readers, and lots of video camera type stuff.

How does it feel to be a published author?  It’s actually a lot of fun. I enjoy hanging out with authors I consider famous. I love looking for my book in the bookstore. And I also love how having a book published just feels like part of the publishing journey, not the end point. I think in book publishing there is no solid end point. It’s a lifelong job with plenty of enjoyment along the way.

Any advice for struggling writers? OMG the best advice ever is to seriously just stick with it. Don’t let those rejections discourage you (too much). Believe in yourself. And constantly seek to improve.

Where do you see book publishing heading? All the changes are so exciting! I do see more and more ebooks and apps being key. That said, I also think many people are reluctant to let go of their paper books. And whatever changes are happening in the adult market, it seems the change is slower in the market for kids and teens since they don’t have their own disposable income.

Her Bio: P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade novel, Tut (Tor Children's, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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